Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

2007 Mountain West Preview - Unit Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 19, 2007


2007 CFN Preview - Mountain West Unit Rankings from top to bottom

2007 CFN Mountain West Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews
Air Force | BYU | Colorado State | New Mexico
San Diego State | TCU | UNLV | U
tah | Wyoming

- 2007 CFN Mountain West Preview
- CFN All-Mountain West Team & Top 30 Players
- Mountain West Team-by-Team Capsules

- Mountain West Schedules & Predictions

Offenses
1. Utah
Look out. Utah not only gets just about everyone back with its top six wide receivers, leading rusher Darryl Poston, and four starting offensive linemen, but it also welcomes back its superstar, quarterback Brian Johnson, after taking last year off to recover from a torn ACL. All the problems with inconsistency throughout last season should be gone thanks to all the experience. Expect more explosion, a slew of Mountain West all-stars, and for Johnson to become a national college football name. There's more than enough depth at the skill positions to withstand injuries, but there's no development among the backups on the line.  

2. BYU
3. TCU
4. Colorado State
5. New Mexico
6. San Diego State
7. Wyoming
8. UNLV
9. Air Force

Quarterbacks  
1. Utah
Ratliff had his ups-and-downs last season, but he was generally solid leading the Utes to an eight win season and a miraculous play by BYU's John Beck of finishing up with a five-game winning streak. Brian Johnson will do even more and should take the offense to another level. If Utah could win with Brett Ratliff, it should be able to dominate with Johnson. Tommy Grady and Chad Manis are good backups who should be able to carry things for a while if needed, though Utah can't win the Mountain West title if they're under center.

2. BYU

3. San Diego State
4. Air Force
5. UNLV
6. Wyoming
7. TCU
8. New Mexico
9. Colorado State

Running Backs
1. Colorado State
The return of Kyle Bell will save the nation's 113th ranked running game. An improved offensive line will help the cause, but it's Bell who'll make the ground game sink or swim. Several backup options are ready to see time, but they'll only get in if something happens to the star.

2. TCU
3. New Mexico
4. San Diego State
5. BYU
6. Wyoming
7. Utah
8. Air Force
9. UNLV

Receivers
1. Utah
The Utes are loaded with experience and talent, and now it's time for everyone to start doing more. More consistency, more big plays, and more home runs are a must for a corps with so many viable weapons. While the backs and tight ends are involved in the passing game, the wide receivers are the focus with the top six pass catchers last year all wideouts. That won't change.


2. Colorado State
3. New Mexico
4. UNLV
5. Wyoming
6. BYU
7. TCU
8. San Diego State
9. Air Force

Offensive Line
1. TCU
The line isn't going to be better after losing Herb Taylor, but there are enough very, very good players to be strong enough to dominate at times. After allowing just 15 sacks last season, and paving the way for the nation's ninth best running attack, there's a lot to live up to. If Matty Lindner, Blake Schlueter and Wade Sisk play as expected, the line could be almost as good.

2. BYU
3. Utah
4. New Mexico
5. Colorado State
6. UNLV
7. Wyoming
8. San Diego State
9. Air Force

Defenses
1. TCU
The Horned Frogs finished second in the nation in total defense, third in scoring defense, and led the Mountain West in several top categories. It'll be a total shock if they weren't even better. The only possible problems will come if injuries strike. Nine starters return, led by all-star ends Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, who make life easy for everyone else on the defense with the pressure they provide. The 4-2-5 has four good linebackers, an amazing group of safeties, rising stars at corner, and a good, active line. The only potential issue is a lack of raw bulk at tackle, but that's looking for a problem.

2. New Mexico
3. BYU
4. Wyoming
5. Colorado State
6. Utah
7. Air Force
8. UNLV
9. San Diego State

Defensive Lines
1. TCU
As long as Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz are Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, TCU will finish in the top ten in America in sacks and tackle for loss. Everything revolves around the outside going in, and James Vess and Cody Moore should shine with all the focus on the stars. TCU always finds productive playmakers to fill the gaps, and it'll have to hope a good rotation forms among the reserves over the course of the season.

2. BYU
3. New Mexico
4. Colorado State
5. Utah
6. Wyoming
7. UNLV
8. Air Force
9. San Diego State

Linebackers
1. TCU
This is the Mountain West's best linebacking corps, and it's not even close. Jason Phillips is a lock for all-star honors, David Hawthorne has jacked his game up to another level and will be an all-star, and Henson is an all-star in reserve. Daryl Washington, when all is said and done, might be the most talented of the bunch, and former LSU transfer Darius Ingram is a nice emergency backup waiting in the wings.

2. BYU
3. New Mexico
4. Wyoming
5. Utah
6. Colorado State
7. Air Force
8. San Diego State
9. UNLV

Defensive Backs
1. TCU
How good was the TCU pass defense? Texas Tech was held to 204 yards and no touchdowns, and there was only one game with more than 300 yards allowed (the loss to BYU). With the emergence of players like Nick Sanders and Brian Bonner into stars, it'll be a major disappointment if this isn't the league's best secondary.

2. New Mexico
3. BYU
4. Colorado State
5. Utah
6. Wyoming
7. Air Force
8. UNLV
9. San Diego State

Special Teams
1. Utah
As long as Louie Sakoda doesn't falter under the weight of having to carry the entire kicking game and is able to do what he did last season, Utah will have some of the best special teams in the nation. Brice McCain has the potential to be a special kickoff returner.

2. TCU
3. Colorado State
4. UNLV
5. New Mexico
6. BYU
7. San Diego State
8. Wyoming
9. Air Force

  

Related Stories
2007 CFN Preseason All-Mountain West Team
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 19, 2007
2007 Mountain West Schedules & Picks
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 19, 2007
2007 CFN Mountain West Team Capsules
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 19, 2007